'The Wedding Plan' toasts the bride-to-be
By Martha K. Baker
Watch Noa Koler. She plays the bride-to-be in Rama Burshtein's The Wedding Plan. You'll see why she won Israel's Ophir Award for Best Actress. She has comic chords within her, but she plays the role of the bride with seriousn intention -- really, the only way in this delightful film.
Michal has been dis-engaged by her fiancé very soon after she insisted he tell her why he was blue. The break-off occurs within weeks of their up-coming nuptials, but being an Orthodox Jew and believing strongly that God has a plan for her, Michal, does not cancel the wedding, planned for the last night of Hanukkah. By God, Michal is going to be married.
She re-enters the process of finding a husband with the help of two yentas. She gropes through a series of dates. One won't even look at her on the theory that if he sees no other woman, he'll think his bride is beautiful. Another is deaf, and his interpreter does not translate for Michal the words from sign language to the English we read in the subtitles. Michal even visits the tomb of a famous man in the Ukraine, hoping his spirit can guide her.
As the date nears, and the wrinkles fall out of the dress, and the food is tasted and tested, Michal continues to trust in God. Watch Koler as she frets or calms. When she sits on tenterhooks, she shows Michal as observant and alert to every sound.
The Wedding Plan obverses the plot of Burshtein's 2012 film, Fill the Void. Both respect tradition while offering a view into a culture. "The Wedding Plan," informative and romantic, amusing and mysterious, is also economical, especially Yael Hersonski's editing. The Wedding Plan won Israel's award for Best Film, for very good reasons.